The Mystery of Ordering FAQ

1/24/15
Handling a couple hundred emails a day with 13 to 15 being add-ons or changes to previous orders has resulted in many errors & proven to be too much for us old folks to handle. In the future we will not accept any changes to your original order once placed. Double checking on your end is much easier than us trying to change a dozen orders in the middle of a pull & wrap session each day.

2014... We are no longer shipping overseas.

Updated 9/1/3

How do I order?

All orders are via email only. Most just copy & paste the items they want into an email to me. It is easier for both of us if you put the quantity first & paste the item after it, insuring that you receive the correct quantity.
There is no address on this site. The address will be in the email reply. Do not send any payments without a confirmed email order. They will be returned. No changes in the order via snail mail will be accepted. If you include your zip code or country in your email request your shipping quote will be more accurate. Furthest points are used as default without a zip.

Why only through email?

About 50% of stock is obsolete and when it is gone it is gone! Many things are one of a kind and without pulling & binning them, they may be sold to more than one person....as so often happens with dealers these days. Bins are also weighed for shipping calculations using the USPS online calculator.

What method of shipping do you use?

After being in business for 40 years and being on the receiving end of mutilations that were once packages of good merchandise, I chose to ship via the US Postal System which has done an excellent job for 4 years straight now. Everything is geared to ship USA Priority shipping and out of country is either Airmail Letter Post which is uninsurable and at your risk, or via Airmail Parcel Post Insured, usually double the price of ALP.

What forms of payment do you accept?

In the USA your check, bank check, money order are all acceptable, and your order is shipped the day that payment is received. International orders require a bank draft or money order in US funds and are also shipped out the day that payment is received. WU wire transfers to local pick-up points are not accepted.
This has been missed twice now, so I'll repeat it... Western Union wire transfers to local pick-up points are not accepted. You can send a WU money order directly to my address, but not to local grocery stores :-(

8/18/05 Missed For A Third Time - WU TRANSFERS ARE NOT ACCEPTED

Western Union Money Orders as pic'd above... that you buy & include with your snail mail are the only WU methods acceptable.

What's a bank draft?

A bank draft is nothing more than a check you purchase from your bank that is usually drawn on a US bank account. The fee they charge for this is generally much less than an international money order, yet it is virtually the same as a money order.

What's your phone number?

My phone is hooked up to a muted TAD most of the time as I don't have the time to answer all the calls coming in & be on the keyboard at the same time. Consequently, I don't take phone orders. My address is not on the Parts Page because I already get orders I cannot fill from people who have gotten my address from friends who have ordered previously, and have ordered something that has sold out, or have an order that weighs 16 lbs that they enclosed $6 shipping for it to be sent to Ontario, Canada. Every so often I will be flooded by such orders after someone thinking they are doing good, posts my address in one of the newsgroups & I do what I can & send back the money to those I can't help.
There are so many hobbyist now that nither Alice, nor I, have the time to try to resolve these unconfirmed orders & they are now returned to sender if no matching email order exists.

Do you require a minimum order?

No. You can buy a single 50 item if you want, however the minimum shipping charge is still $6.00 USA & $7.50 international. Many of the outgoing packages cost more than the $6/1 lb price, or the rate obtained from the online postal calculator, as the bin used for weighing is accurate for approximately 80% of all orders, but there are those that require a little more TLC when actually packaged & exceed the shipping price quoted. I pay the difference in those cases which have been as high as $50 on a shipment of control panels to the UK.

You charged me $9.00 shipping & it's on the package at $8.00?

Pertains to above Q & to further explain, not only is there sometimes weight differences in the PO scales & my postage scales, but depending on how fragile an item is, it may require more packing material adding to the weight. Next is that the online calculator is not always accurate. *Big surprise*! Then the rates come into play with a difference of 1 ounce making a rate difference on the total package off by as much as three or four dollars either way... plus or minus... on heavier packages, and when it's questionable - borderline, I go with the next step up in cost & after 2 years of red ink for shipping costs, it is finally a break even venture. You may pay a dollar or two more on one package, but you'll also get those packages that actually cost four dollars more to ship than you paid. I must say that I do get many emails from around the world from collectors telling me that they noticed that it cost me much more to ship a package than they were quoted & offer to send the additional costs. Of course, I've never accepted their offers, but I do appreciate the fact that there seem to be an equal amount of people that take notice when they are seemingly undercharged.

Does Louisiana charge more for USPS Priority than the other 49 states?

I always get a kick out of this email in it's various forms & here's my story...and I'm sticking to it! I charge a pre-quoted shipping & handling fee which includes the actual postage, no matter the method used to ship, and although this is most often exactly the cost of shipping alone, if you need to feel better about this charge ( I know I always do, especially when I receive a small package that I can throw half-way across a football field and I'm charged $25 shipping :( ) then think about the other in-the-background expenses involved in shipping, e.g., packaging materials such as boxes at up to $3 new or 50 used for any size not supplied by USPS, anti-static wrapping materials, bubble wrap, peanuts or popcorn, tape, invoice paper & label inks, USPS forms to be filled out and many other covert expenses. Office Depot has a direct line attached to my wallet... well, bank, actually.
The retort:
"You're suppose to pay that out of your profit!"
Huh? You'd better go back & check my prices as my bookkeeper/wife is telling me she is depressed at working with a red ink pen only :(....:)

Do you ship C.O.D.?

No. Mostly because of the extra time constraints due to the additional paperwork & bookkeeping, but there are many other reasons including the dreaded email...* I won the widget in an online auction for less money, or I went to my first arcade game auction on Saturday & won the widget for the same price, but I'll save the shipping fees *...well, unfortunately Uncle Sam doesn't return that COD package to me along with a shipping & COD fee refund, so I still have to pay more than you essentially saved.

Do you accept credit cards?

No. Actually, I stopped taking them before I retired at a point when the fees were outrageous IMHO. To break even my guess is that I would need to raise prices by 7.5% across the board, which I do not want to do, and there would also be the dreaded additional book work. Even though I thought it illegal, I know that some companies just charge you the additional fee for using a credit card over the cash/check price, but I simply do not have the time to be working for a credit card company & would rather apply the time to aiding you in your endeavors, while saving you money at the same time.

Do you use PayPal?

Absolutely not! I would have to factor in a 10% increase in prices by my guess, in order to accept payment this way. They charge a fee for their services & an additional fee for sweeping the account, and, unlike a direct credit card deposit, I would need a blind sweep account at my bank making this an expensive proposition for you & me, alike. For individual collectors trading & handling auction items, I would assume that PayPal is fine, although there are many other online companies that provide a service similar to theirs. In my limited experience, I prefer a company such as BidPay where you know from the start how much extra you'll pay and the service is extremely fast & secure. Unfortunately, they only handle auction merchandise at the current time.
Many people have been using this service for the past couple years... PayingFast and the only feedback I have gotten is that they request a fax of your driver's license & CC, which to me sounds like a good idea... protecting your interests.

Update March 2007... WOW! The eleventh year is going by fast!
A few European hobbyist have had good experiences with this new service:
Auctionchex.com
Eddie was very prompt in emails when one payment took a little longer than it should have, and, he stuck with it to the payment arrived here.

Do you do bank wire transfers?

No. I opted for a new way of banking which has some sacrifices, but the advantages far outweigh them. After twenty years with my previous bank.... which had changed hands so many times that I was never quite sure what the current name was... they returned a NSF check to me & charged me $20, which I thought surely had to be a mistake since last I knew it would have only cost me $20 if I had bounced the check! Nope... not the case. When I phoned them and was read the current fees for different items, I went bank shopping. In this particular case, the endorser told me the problem was straightened out & to go ahead & redeposit the instrument. Yes... it came back again! I started thinking that here is $40 out of my pocket so far, and most likely $40 out of the endorser's pocket and this check is for $15... has the banking community gone overboard, or what...$95 for $15 worth of parts! The best I could do for you on my end... not that I want an NSF check, but I do know that sometimes a situation beyond your control may cause one....was an account that would try to make the instrument good twice before putting it on microfiche, I presume, and shredding it, all for $3.00. The catch is if I want a copy of it, I have to buy it! The upside is that you only need to pay $3 more on my end..... your bank is probably going to still catch you for another $20, but I can't help on that end.
My bank has doubled it's fee this year to $6 per incident:-(

Looks like my bank was the last of the local banks to be swallowed up by the big national corps :-( Beginning the 1st of August 2006 the NSF fee is jumping to $25 :-( No one can afford to accidentally bounce a check any longer... well, I know I can't as my fee has gone to $35 if I bounce one myself :-( And I was just complaining about the $30 fees accumulated during Katrina down time.

Update of bank fees as of 1/1/2012. Looks like my bank knocked off a couple bucks if I bounce a check, but the bad news is that they evened it out by bumping up the NSF charge to $33.00, as well! My scanner died, but I was able to take a pic of their charges & they have a charge for every imaginable situation.

Will you ship my order & send me a bill?

No. This Q seems to be born out of the cross shipping list I have. Whenever possible I do cross ship orders, meaning that I will ship the order as soon as you have sent the payment, however, this is for established customers that place orders on a regular basis and providing I have the time & resources to cover the shipping. In the past, some have used this as though it were an open account here, which I cannot do because it does tie up so much working capital, which is precisely what happened... ran out of funds to reorder merchandise or ship current orders... at which time my wife took the reins from me & runs the cross shipping with a calculated abandonment of emotions & has set rules that if the payment is not received 10 days after it was supposedly sent, your name is removed from the cross shipping list :(

Will you ship my order with no insurance?

Believe me, I know why you want it uninsured in the US. The USPS postal carrier will not leave a package that is insured for $51 or more at your residence if there is no one there to sign for it... yes, even if that mailman is your relative, he's NOT going to leave it! He's suppose to leave you a notice of attempted delivery, however, this is seldom done and your package is sitting at the post office waiting for you contact them to schedule another delivery, or to make arrangements to pick it up. If you do not do so, they send it back to me after a few weeks.

Yes... I will ship uninsured on a per order basis at your risk. Be advised that you are risking the amount of the total order in case of loss or damage. This is applicable to cross shipped orders, as well. It is one thing to say ship it uninsured and I will be responsible if anything happens, and quite another if you receive a $150 package that was thrown under a moving mail van's tire to stop it from rolling down the hill. Remember, no one wants to pay for a dead horse except the mucilage manufacturer :(

When will you ship my order?

If you confirm your order with a mailing address in email, I will package & label the order to go out on the day of receipt of payment with no waiting. Without a shipping address the order will ship on the following day as mail is delivered late in the day leaving barely enough time to round up packages & get them to the post office. NOTE: Any changes in your order have to be done in email prior to shipment for this same reason. A change made in the snail mail may not be read until you have the package already.

Will you notify me upon receipt of payment?

Yes. You will be notified on the day of payment receipt & order shipment with an expected time of arrival at your locale. The only exception is that Saturday's receipts are held over till Monday since the post office is closed when I receive the mail, so all it would gain you would be 2 more days of anxiety :(

It's been a week and I still have no package...what happen?

Chances are that your package is not lost. Invariably this package is at your local post office. It has been taken back because it was insured for $51 or more, and often times at the discretion of your postal carrier, a package that is not even insured at all, will be taken back to the post office if he feels that it wouldn't be prudent to leave it.

Ocassionally, a Priority package will take 7 to 8 days to arrive and I can only surmise that somewhere along the line, someone decided to take a peek inside :( There never seems to be any damage or mislabeling, just a pure breakdown in the postal service for some reason beyond my comprehension. Of course, this always happens with components that are desperately needed for the weekend's projects & never with a part you bought to have as a spare :(

Out of country orders that are late invariably turn up at customs, rather than the post office. The reason for this is that the customs label sometimes comes off during transit (I don't put them on, or they would stay!) and they then open & go through your package to make sure it doesn't contain any contraband... like no one lies about it on a label, duh...and for some reason they enjoy opening the packages, but do not like to reseal & send them on there way. At least 100 packages in the past 4 years , or so, have been found at customs in a dozen countries, some of which I am embarassed to say I never heard of, but the no repackage policy seems to thread them all together :(

What to heck is lagniappe?

Lagniappe is a custom practiced here in Louisiana & I'll give you Webster's definition........
"lagniappe or lagnappe n. 1. a small gift given by a merchant to a customer for making a purchase. 2. a gratuity; tip"
Whenever possible, something is randomly thrown in with your order that my wife or I think you may be able to use, or the brownie cookies or trinkets at Mardi Gras time, or sometimes even the shipping container such as the Rubbermaid containers that were used to ship buttons & joysticks several times. You never know what, or when, you'll find some oddball item in your order... calculators... telephones... tool sets... toys... extras of the same part... vid game posters... flyers... boxes of lamps or stuffed animals just to name a few of the items already sent out as lagniappe.

What sort of warranty do I get?

There is no warranty implied or expressed. Some of these parts were made as far back as 1938 & are obsolete now. Game boards? Yeah... remember I'm the guy that sees pics everyday that you send asking me why your board that you bought/traded from another collector doesn't work, and I see chips in the wrong places, I've even seen IC pins hanging out of the sockets in a PIC where you've accidently installed it improperly, I couldn't even guess at how many have sent me pics with interconnect cables going to the wrong places or upside down on the connector, and the smoked roms from backward installations... jeez... I could write a book about these instances & have the pics to go with it :) Electronic parts? Well, I read the 1 page document at the local electronic parts wholesaler, and it basically says that once it leaves the store it belongs to you. I just read a couple from catalogs here and they say about the same thing in legalese such as: Since we do not control the mfg of the product yada yada yada..... Since the seller cannot control the manner or use of it's products after the sale the seller is not responible for any replacement of said product or damage caused by said product consequentially or indirectly, and yada yada yada.
All I can tell you is that I will test anything that is possible before shipping & tell you the state it is in when it leaves here. You can ask about any part's condition before buying. Some people are leary about all sales final to a point where they ask if the microswitch pushbuttons are new in a first email, and in a subsequent email will ask if the Cherry switch comes with it, and some even ask in a third email if they are copies or the real ones :), but I guess with as many unscrupulous dealers as I've seen online, I'd be a little leary myself. BTW: They are new with switches & the real McCoy :)

What sort of price can you give us for 5000 of the xxx ICs?

For the most part, prices are at 100 lot or better per item and I am not a chip broker or general wholesaler. On scarce items, I may only have a few of them.

Isn't this your business, selling parts?

Not really... sort of...well, I came to RGVAC/M to sell off parts left from my business as I had plans to retire in September of 2000 with the remainder of the parts to be bulked off at that time. Well... I made a lot of friends in the video arcade community here & in the UK, Canada... jeez.. all over the world, and was repeatly asked to stay on & offer advice & parts after retiring. Well I caved, and when I finally retired from the coin-op industry on August 18th of 2000, I enlisted my wife to help maintain this little mom-and-pop operation to serve the video arcade game collecting community. Little did I know that this was still going to take the same 140 hours per week that I spent between this & my business. It simply freed up the hours I needed for my business & expanded the hours I had available for the arcade game collecting community. This might also be because of new recent friends into MAME who need advice (sometimes way over my head, since this is a far different field than coin-op) and common parts for their projects. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my friends at RGP and of course, my jukebox collecting friends whose group is a little harder to find :)